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Let’s not be too hasty to blame all old white men

Crikey readers talk the death of the carbon tax and youth unemployment.

Where are our business leaders on climate change?

David Edmunds writes: Re. “Carbon repeal: condemning our children for cheap political points” (yesterday). Old white men might be one recognisable constituency pleased at the repeal of the carbon tax, but we are nowhere near as homogeneous as our business leaders.

It was probably within the power of the peak business organisations and their constituent members to provide some leadership on the issue of climate change, but they all, without exception, failed to do so. It is hard to believe that if a couple of senior chief executives and their peak business organisations had unequivocally supported a price on carbon we would be in the position we are in now. It is hard to believe that there were not a few of them with the wits to understand the argument and the longer-term advantage to their businesses. It does seem like a very conspicuous lack of courage.

Unfortunately, this is pretty typical of business in this country. It is also hard to think of a single issue on which they have managed to provide any future-oriented advice or leadership in the wider interest of the community.  All we hear is winging about labour flexibility and more rent-seeking.

Richard Armstrong writes: I demand an apology — how dare you insult “old white men” as supportive of the government’s policy on repealing the carbon tax? As an old white man myself I may lack the energy to run up the stairs, but that does not mean my brain is failing me. Our Minister for Environment Destruction is a good 30 years younger than I, as is his “Great Leader” and his cohort.

The only “old white man” I know of who loudly lauds this policy, a man so admired by our “government leaders”, abandoned our country in search of  the  almighty dollar, and now, shamefully, uses the safety net of his dollar-driven power to snipe at his country of birth.

We old men have endured the wealth created smogs of the past and know that action is needed now to avoid the criminality of having our children smothered by those same smogs again, by the ignorance of our government in pursuit of here and now wealth.

Where, oh where, are our forward-thinking, real statesmen?

Losing small business hurts young workers

Geoffrey Heard: Re. “Pay young people a decent wage” (yesterday). A much bigger contribution to the loss of jobs in Australia than outsourcing low-level jobs such as in call centres overseas, mentioned by Richard Davoren, is the loss of small business in Australia. Small business in all sectors is the big employer — big business historically and currently reduces jobs.

An example is those states that have allowed the big supermarket chains effective 24/7 opening hours. That gave the supermarkets huge market power and resulted in about two-thirds of milk bars and similar convenience stores closing down within around two years of the supermarkets getting “certainty” through “flexible hours”.

Of course, the really big thing is the loss of jobs through the loss of small primary and secondary industry — and part of that can be laid at the door of the snivelling politicians and their pseudo-regulators who enhanced the power of the big supermarket and super store chains at the expense of their local suppliers.

Outsourcing call centres? Those “jobs” are should destroying. Resolve that problem simply — ban such phone usage.

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